logoEat - Drink - Protest

A culture blog by Lauren Girardin, a San Francisco-based city girl who eats out and kicks about.

August 13, 2004

Mourning in an Orange Butter Sauce: Julia Child Dies at 91

My mother remembers a six-year old me up early every Saturday morning, curled in a brown-velour papasan chair, devotedly watching Julia Child make omelets and cassoulet and quiche and béchamel sauce. With sleep-weary eyes, I'd watch as Julia dropped food on the counter, dusted it off, and applied the universally accepted, if scientifically dubious, "5-second rule" of food safety. While downing a heaping bowl of Kix, I’d absorb her wisdom and wiliness and laugh at her culinary antics. I only vaguely recall these early-morn' moments, except for a snug, safe sensation, much like the feeling one gets while cuddling a security blanket.

Though she didn't make this girl into a chef de cuisine or help me bypass the picky eating habits of my teenage years, Julia inspired me in non-gastronomic ways. Despite those fuzzy childhood memories, I give full-credit to the toweringly tall French Chef for mixing the roux of my irreverent, kooky, opinionated, and curious spirit.

During my non-picky years, Julia became a newfound teacher, expounding the importance of eating good foods (in moderation) – not just those foods considered good for you. Have the cheese cake, have the french fries, have the crepes suzette, and “Have a jolly good time!” while doing it.

Because of Julia, I've never been on a diet, never feared a good aioli, never said no to a handmade dessert. Because of her, I am renowned for my "crack" deviled eggs, give kick-ass dinner parties that overflow my small apartment, and have friends asking me to teach them how to cook.

So, let’s raise a glass of gin and indulge in that pat of butter in memory and in thanks to Julia Child.